The Return: Chapter Eleven

The Return: Chapter Eleven

Corey had his routine down pat. When we got in, he had the three of us sit at the counter, while he went in the back. The sounds of cooler doors opening and closing, then baking tins sliding into the oven was the first thing I heard.

“Core? You need help?”

“I’m good. I’ve been doing this every day for years.”

That was all well and fine, but I wasn’t about to let my mate work his fingers to nubs while I sat on my ass. I got up from my seat, then ensured the sugar caddies, salt and pepper shakers, and condiment station were all full. Then I did the same for the dish ware.

“What can I do?” Matt asked me.

“Matt wants to help,” I called out. “Do you have something he can do?”

The door opened and Corey stepped out. I could see traces of flour and shiny spots, probably from the nonstick spray we used in the pans, on an apron he’d donned. He smiled at Matt.

“Which do you prefer? Hot chocolate or tea?”

“I can have coffee.”

The Return: Chapter Ten

The Return: Chapter Ten

Chapter Ten

When Jonas entered the house, he came out to the back where I was working with Brent Royale, who I found on the website. It listed him as being a handyman jack-of-all-trades kind of guy, and when I spoke with him, he said that putting together a shelter for Matt would be no problem.

The work had been going well. The lean-to style edifice would give Matt protection from the elements, but still allow him to see the stars he loved. And if things got bad, Brent added tarps that a man or wolf could easily unfurl to cover the unit.

Then Jonas walked in and dropped his bombshell.

The Return: Chapter Nine

The Return: Chapter Nine

Parker’s Note: I am SO sorry! It’s been a rough week here, and I’m behind on everything. Please accept my apologies for the lateness.





The next morning, I sat at my desk and started to go through the website Jonas had given me and found a woman in town who made pillows, down comforters, and the like. As I scrolled through the pages, it struck me. It was like another door opened I didn’t even know had been closed. The site was filled with colorful creations the people in town were sharing with everyone else. I found hammered-metal wind chimes that I’d seen in town, but never knew where they came from. There were also the most dazzling paintings, books written by people I knew, and blown glass works. I saw myself spending way too much time and money here.

“What kind of pillow do you like?” I asked Matt as he sat on the sofa, his hands folded in his lap.

He shrugged. “It doesn’t matter.”

It was hard not to growl at him. Every time I asked a question, Matt’s answer was the same. It didn’t matter. Whatever I thought was best.

I’d had enough.

The Return: Chapter Eight

The Return: Chapter Eight

Parker’s note: I am SO sorry! I had the wrong date in the publish field.



The day started out at a brisk pace, and seemed to pick up steam as the morning progressed. I did my best to help in the kitchen, putting tins of batter into the oven,  pulling the buns out, then icing them the way Corey showed me. I had just pulled a tray of muffins out when the kitchen door opened, and Corey came in, his eyes wide.

“There’s a line out the goddamn door,” he whispered harshly.

“Yeah, wolves have really good hearing, so it’s a fair bet most of them heard that.”

“I’m already freaking! You’re not being helpful at all.”

I set the tray down, and went over to where Corey was on the verge of hyperventilating. “What’s really wrong?”

“I can’t screw this up. I just can’t.”

The Return: Chapter Seven

The Return: Chapter Seven

The sheer number of people in the place stunned me. It was hard to wrap my brain around all of them being werewolves. It also wreaked havoc on my mind that a place this big was so well hidden.

When we got out of the car, I stood a few moments and gaped up at it. Two levels, with wraparound porches on the top and bottom. The wood was a medium brown color, but I couldn’t tell you what it was. Windows were spaced around it, making it seem as though the house would have sunlight throughout the day. Gray slate tiles with solar panels ran along the roof. The place reminded me of a giant treehouse, with spotlights illuminating the grounds, including a path that appeared to have a fire pit on it. I had to admit, the place was breathtaking.

“You lived here?”

“Don’t sound like that,” Jonas complained, a bitter note in his voice. “It’s a nice place. Great, actually. But you don’t know what it was like. I had no one. You weren’t here. There weren’t many other people around other than my parents. The pack wasn’t allowed to come out here for anything other than a monthly run. Which I couldn’t participate in. I could hear them, I could smell them, but wasn’t allowed to see them. So yeah, as prisons go, it’s beautiful and gilded, but it was still a jail.”